MIAMI SHORES, Fla. – The No.15-ranked Saint Leo women's tennis team (18-8) dropped its NCAA South Region Tournament-I Championship match to the No.2-ranked Barry University Buccaneers (24-0), 5-0, Wednesday afternoon from the Buccaneer Tennis Center.
The Lions were dealt a tough-luck 3-0 deficit after doubles, before dropping a pair of losses at four and six singles.
A fast-paced start, the Lions found themselves down 1-0 to the nation's second-ranked team as the No.2 pair of Julie Stas and Olivia Matuszak downed McDonald and Adrianna Daszkiewicz, 8-1. Barry followed by going up 2-0 as the three-flight tandem of Caroline Wendling and Linda Fritchken nipped the Lions' pair of Maria Benkirane and Hidass in a point-for-point struggle, 9-7. Another grueling match at top-flight doubles saw the Bucs' Mona Mansour and Cristina Valladares gain the upper hand in the tiebreak as they overturned Laura Kemkes and Emily Singleton, 9-8 (6-4).
At singles, Barry increased its lead to 4-0 behind a straight-sets win at the six spot, 6-0, 6-3. Shortly after, the Buccaneers closed the match with a win at four singles as Matuszak won in consecutive sets, 6-1, 6-2.
Nonetheless, Kemkes and Singleton put up valiant efforts for the Green and Gold as they collected first set wins over Barry's top-two singles competitors before their matches went unfinished.
The Lions, losing only two competitors from the current squad, will hit the courts again next fall at the Varner Invitational.
For more information on the nationally-ranked women's tennis team, visit SaintLeoLions.com.